Friday, May 29, 2015


I was taking a little stroll through my favorite garden nursery yesterday, and I came across a gorgeous little gem I had never seen before. It had such an unusual texture.... almost like little teeth. I was quite taken with it and decided to give it a new home at The Manor. It's called a "Pilea" or "Moon Valley", which has quickly become my new favorite houseplant!

So I decided to hop on the old broomstick and fly around the www, and find out what I could on my new plant. Here's what I know about the
Pilea 'Moon Valley'....

The Moon Valley is cool little cultivar of the Friendship Plant, Pilea involucrata. It is a bushy, fast growing upright plant that grows to about 12" tall. Their greatest feature is their saw toothed edged, chartreuse leaves with deep texturing like the craters and valleys on the moon. (sometimes you have to use your imagination..) The require low light, and are an excellent choice for terrariums or dish gardens!

I think I shall call him Edgar.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


Contrary to popular belief.... I am NOT the queen of "everything"..... well, maybe. Depends on who you ask.... But I know for sure that if I want to whip up a devilishly delish dessert for The Count, I always turn to the Queen of the Kitchen, Betty Crocker!

This recipes comes straight from the Betty Crocker website, and takes about 45 minutes to prep, and makes about 16 brownies. Little marshmallow ghosts sitting on top a brownie! How could you not just eat 'em up?

Spooktacular fun and scrumptious eating are coming your way! Gather your goblins to share lots of baking tricks and treats. Here we go....  
~1 box Betty Crocker™ Original Supreme Premium brownie mix                        
~Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on brownie mix box                         
~1 1/4 cups Betty Crocker™ Rich & Creamy creamy white frosting (from 16-oz container)                        
~16 large marshmallows                  
~Betty Crocker™ black decorating gel (from 0.68-oz tube)                        
  • 1 Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Line 8- or 9-inch square pan with foil so foil extends about 2 inches over sides of pan. Spray foil with cooking spray. Make brownies as directed on box for 8- or 9-inch square pan. Cool completely, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove brownies from pan by lifting foil; remove foil. For 16 brownies, cut into 4 rows by 4 rows.
  • 2 Heat frosting in microwavable bowl uncovered on High 30 seconds, stirring every 10 seconds, until frosting can be stirred smooth and fluid. If frosting becomes too firm while decorating, microwave 5 seconds; stir.
  • 3 Top each brownie with 1 large marshmallow. Spoon 1 tablespoon frosting over each marshmallow to coat. Let stand until frosting is set, about 30 minutes. Use black gel to make eyes and mouths.
What a delightful treat to have on hand, when the little monsters get home from school today, don't ya think?
Enjoy! I hope you all have a BOO-tiful day!

Friday, May 15, 2015


Morticia Addams was truly a style icon. Think about it, she's gorgeous, she's got a great house, a great outfit, a butler.... and a husband who adores her! You could say that Morticia was really the one who started it for me, with my Halloween obsession.

One of my fondest memories was when I was in the 3rd grade, and my mom made me the Morticia Addams dress for Halloween. I remember being so proud to wear it to school for our class Halloween party!

The Addams Family is a group of fictional characters created by American cartoonist Charles Addams.

But for most of us, the Addams Family spent many hours in our living room bringing us the antics of Uncle Fester, Wednesday, Pugsley.... and the whole gang!

Morticia and Gomez Addams head a perplexingly macabre family whose members include a giant named Lurch, who acts as doorman, and a disembodied hand named Thing. The Addams Family debuted on television September 18th, 1964 and ran 64 episodes, until it was cancelled in 1966.
I think it might be a good day to dig out the Addams Family dvd's and hang out with a few old friends.
Have a frightful Friday!
Click here to see episodes 1-3!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


Hello Halloweenies!

Have I got a treat for you today! And oh, what a treat it is! A treat of the sweetest kind, if you ask me.

It all started when I received an e mail from one of our Halloweenies, Laney.

And Laney was asking for ideas for a signature cocktail to serve at her upcoming costume fund-raiser event. Laney isn't much of a drinker, but was looking for something not too high in alcohol content with a little kick, that her guests would enjoy.

So, I summoned Mr. Edmond.... who has served many a cocktail at The Manor, and asked for his expert opinion. Well sure enough, he came though with a potion recipe that is sure to be a favorite.

It's the Voodootini.

You'll need a martini glass, shot glass, shaker or tall glass, some black licorice-infused vodka, black cherry or black raspberry soda, and some black raspberry liqueur.

Here's what you'll do....

Fill your martini glass with ice.
In a shaker or glass, mix 1 shot black cherry soda, 1/2 shot licorice infused vodka, splash black raspberry liqueur.

Stir or shake well.
Pour over ice in martini glass.

* You can add as much vodka or raspberry liqueur to suit your taste. I wouldn't do more than a full shot of each.... and remember, this is particular recipe is for GROWN UPS ONLY!


Tuesday, May 12, 2015


As you all know, I love this time of year when I can work in the gardens and get my hands dirty. That also includes repotting some new houseplants.

Houseplants do make your house seem more "homey" don't they? So why not give the little creatures a nice little home of their own?

Check out the really cute skull planters that I found on MudPuppy's Esty shop!

These are not only great for plants, but you could use them as a vase, votive, or planter!

This is an original design you will not find elsewhere! Each skull is slip cast out of ceramic stoneware and covered in a glossy white glaze. These are perfect for shop displays, special Halloween parties or decorations, even to add that naturalist look to your bookshelves. Each skull is $42.00 and well worth it!

Product details:

● gorgeous gloss white glaze inside and out.
● measures approx. 4 1/2" long X 3" tall X 3" wide.
● arrives in a lovely package, perfect for gift giving!

To check out more of MudPuppy's cool stuff on Esty, click here! Looks like another fun-filled day of online shopping for The Queen! Oh, Happy Tuesday!

Thursday, May 7, 2015


Music is a great way to set the mood, isn't it? A romantic dinner, or an all-out Halloween bash.... you gotta have the right music!

I love making cd's with all my favorite mood music, especially for Halloween! But don't let the time of year fool you... The Count and I often have our favorite selection of spooky tunes blasting throughout the halls of The Manor.

Here's a great playlist I found on Pop and it's a really good selection of songs for hosting a grown-ups-only Halloween fest. Check it out...